I've noticed that more and more websites are disabling the ability to zoom on an ipad using Safari (or other mobile browsers, it seems).

Is there a setting to turn this ability off, or some other way to prevent this?

5 Answers 5


I created a bookmark in Mobile Safari with this url


The easiest way to setup this bookmark is by:

  1. Add a bookmark to any page
  2. Edit the bookmark and set the url to the url I have above

Now anytime you are on page that you can't zoom then click the bookmark icon and select the bookmark you setup. Then you can pinch and zoom.

  • The bookmarklet is great. For another kind of workaround, see my answer below on enabling the system-wide "three-finger zoom" in the iOS settings.
    – Kai Carver
    May 15, 2014 at 12:00
  • Best thing ever! One of the most annoying things finally fixed. It's incredible that this is still relevant 6 years later... Jul 25, 2018 at 12:05

There is not a way to prevent this using Mobile Safari. However, many alternative browsers will let you change the user agent sent to the server, which means you can make it look like you're connecting with a desktop browser instead of a mobile browser. While this will work, I understand it may not be exactly what you're looking for - unfortunately, you can't change the default browser without jailbreaking.


There is not a way to stop a website from disabling zoom in mobile Safari. The zoom is disabled in the HTML code like this:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no" />

To disable this, you would have to have an HTML stripper that removed this HTML from the webpage. You might be able to use a Cydia app, but I haven't found anything that does this.

Your best bet is probably to use an iOS browser that allows you to change the user agent. Most websites insert the HTML above when they detect that your browser is a mobile browser. Some free web browsers include:

A more complete list can be found here.


Scott Walter's bookmarklet answer above is an excellent solution.

A different, and more permanent, workaround is to enable Zoom in Settings > General > Accessibility. This enables

  • zooming by double-tapping with three fingers,
  • panning by dragging with three fingers,
  • further zooming in and out by double-tapping with three fingers and dragging up or down.



Reader view in safari is the native way to regain control over web page content.

This mode strips most of the JavaScript shenanigans that mess with zoom and other annoyances. On iOS 14 there are even handy per-site settings to engage this when possible. You may need a custom content blocker for hardened cases of web authors that actively subvert the reader function with further technical tomfoolery.

iOS 14 web site settings

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